Memoirs of a Follower

I adore jive and I adore tango and the difference in the culture between the two dances continues to be a fascination to me. I've noticed that some aspects of the tango world, simply do not occur in the jive environment and vice versa. My experience is that men do like to share their wit and wisdom particularly in Tango where the leader rules (OK). Some seem to find a new confidence which is less apparent in the jive world.

Here are a couple of conversations which spring to mind.

At a milonga in Clapham, London, a delightful gentleman engaged me in conversation after a few lovely dances as we shared experiences of other venues. I guess he was feeling relaxed because he announced that women only have to be two things to succeed in tango. Only two things? What did he know? I was intrigued. I listened ready to learn.

Followers only have to...    wait for it...

  1. Look pretty
  2. Be a moderate dancer

Well, there you have it.

Did I ask him to define 'pretty' or 'moderate'? Nope

At another milonga in Hammersmith, London, I was once again engaged in conversation by yet another charming gentleman (a damn fine dancer too) who shared his opinions about what a tanguera should wear. Again, I was intrigued. We had already enjoyed some dances together and the fact that I was wearing trousers did not seem to deter him from declaring that all women, without exception, should wear a skirt. No question of comfort, style, personal preferance, habit, body shape or personality.

Well, once again there you have it.

He continued to share his opinions on ankles, calves, knees, thighs and skirt lengths but to be honest my attention had seriously drifted by then and I wasn't listening.

I wonder what he would look like in a kilt?

 - Carole